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Cops: Woman killed in Manhattan by debris that fell from building

Police at the scene in midtown Tuesday after

Police at the scene in midtown Tuesday after falling debris killed Erica Tishman, 60, of Manhattan. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Falling debris struck and killed a woman Tuesday morning in Times Square, according to the NYPD.

The woman, identified by the NYPD as Erica Tishman of Manhattan, was struck in the head by the debris that fell from 729 Seventh Ave. near 49th Street before 10:47 a.m.

Officers responding to a 911 call found Tishman unconscious and unresponsive on the sidewalk with head trauma, according to Sgt. Jessica McRorie, a police spokeswoman.

Tishman, a 60-year-old Harvard-educated architect, worked for the real estate developer Zubatkin and served on the boards of the Educational Alliance, the Riverdale Country School and Central Synagogue in Manhattan, according to her biography on the developer's website.

According to the New York City Department of Buildings' website, 729 Seventh Ave. has seven open violations or complaints.

Engineers and inspectors were at the scene late Tuesday afternoon "to perform a full structural stability inspection of the building," according to Abigail Kunitz, a spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings.

“This is a tragedy, and the family and friends of the victim are in our thoughts. No pedestrian should be at risk from dangerous façade conditions," she said.

On Tuesday evening, Kunitz said the department ordered the property owner to erect a sidewalk shed, which was being installed under the supervision of department inspectors.

In April, the department had issued a violation for failure to maintain the building's façade, which resulted in a $1,250 fine, she said. She said it was paid, but the violation remains open because the owner has not certified the condition was fixed.

There is apparently video connected to the incident, according to Mayor Bill Bill de Blasio, who was asked during an unrelated event about what happened.

“I have not seen the video. It’s a horrible incident. My heart goes out to the family; there’s obviously a full investigation going on. We need to know how that happened. We need to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

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